I have a desire for so many things, an interest in so many activities, but I take on too much. Life itself and my productivity make me tired. Oh! Yes, no wonder.
I have the day off. A real luxury. But instead of jumping for joy around my workshop, I'm just tired. There is a reason that the metaphors mentioned in the subtitle have something to do with movement. Downshift. As an aside, the metaphor also shows how much the car has crept into our philosophical world of thought. Shift down. Or is this linguistic formula even older and comes from machine operation? Lathes also had gears early on, and if the speed was too high, the lathe tool wore out too quickly, the result was not good enough, then the machine was shifted down a gear, the speed was reduced. Many lathes have more torque at lower speeds. In other words, more power. Less speed also means less frequency, a close relative of the beat. The beat leads us to the music, the music to our heart.
What is recreation?
Hobbies. Life. Work.
Today I realise that my workload is too high; I am overwhelmed by all that my hands and my head are occupied with. I feel as if I envy people who only do one thing, have one hobby: only writing, only sewing or only travelling. How simple could life be?
But also a little monotonous and monotony doesn't suit me at all. I am multi-interested, in many ways a child who is always excited about new toys. On the other hand, I would like to make myself into a whole person who can master as many things as possible. A thought that describes me like few others and should be explained in more detail at some point.
Just today I notice that I am a little tired, perhaps also due to the time change.
Energy crisis. War. Climate Crisis. Work.
Actually, the pack we all have to carry right now is huge. It's a real crate, like the ones used in the Alps to carry things up into the mountains. It is loaded, and full of things that call us to action. Change your life, be better, more responsible, reduce this, do more of that, less of this. Even holidays are not the same as they were 30 years ago. You should have visited at least 10 influencer targets at your holiday destination by now. My ass. But it's hammering us everywhere: climate crisis. Energy crisis. Influencers. Politics. These demands weigh on me like everyone else in Europe, on this globe, and I do my best. But the climate crisis came on top of the crate. We knew it would come one day - and we blocked it out. And the problems will increase enormously, we know it - and ignore it again.
Work. My part-time job at the University of Wuppertal is exciting and interesting, but also sometimes mentally a real, new task. Not something you put in a box, put in a drawer in the office and then forget about when you leave the university at 6.30pm. Then war in Ukraine. It's kind of perverse that we're so good at blocking it out, that there's a war raging on our borders no further - than it is from here to Rome. And people are dying, not being able to sit in a safe house like we do, pursuing their hobbies, cutting lavender in the garden, like I did yesterday, for example. It's perverse how well we've learned to block it all out. But then again, it's so important. Because if we don't have any leverage to solve a problem, then we can't put our energy into it in any meaningful way. Besides, we would go crazy if we took on all the problems around us. But isn't that kind of crazy too. It seems to work better in the climate crisis, but it is also a new task to consider every day. Do I turn on this appliance or not. Do I cook myself something or do I better make cold food. What big decisions do I make to shift down a gear in the climate crisis? Am I willing to downsize? To reduce myself? I am at the moment, at least in parts of my life, but not in others.
But these are just the things that are socially weighing on each of us at the moment, unless we are complete ignorers.
There is no suffering that you don't do to yourself
That's what my grandma used to say when someone talked about the burden of a hobby. It's your own fault. You chose it yourself, this interest, this activity, this problem. That's why this is complaining at a high level. I could just go into the garden, work enough for one person over the whole year, look after it and care for it and really have done enough. For the garden, for me and my family.
Yet there are many other things driving me at the moment:
- I'm finally sewing again, it's going to be two pairs of trousers, but this time I want to work more to size.
- I have recently started embroidering
- I have given myself research assignments in the format of "Sachstandsberichte", which have a university format.
- I would also like to continue my research on Jenny Lind.
Besides that, there are still a thousand little things to do:
- the blog has a few technical problems
- the new blog page is not yet registered with Google
- there is a mountain of finished projects that have not yet been posted.
- there are many building sites to be done at the house
- and all the ideas that are in my head and haven't yet seen the light of day at all
These are the ongoing projects and it feels good to write this here: The first two are being completed, the latter are going on all the time. I'm not sure yet how I'm mentally processing the fact that I'll never be done with it. One step was to write it down here. And it's urgent that I prioritise the tasks. Make myself a full variable list. Stress comes from taking on more for a period of time than you're capable of handling, and actually I don't want that phenomenon in my life anymore.
And this brings me to what Eugen Busmann, my sculpture professor, used to tell me in 1993: Take small steps, Mr Schürmann, take small steps, but don't stop.
Satisfaction comes from every small step. Move forward. Breathe in. Breathe out. Look in front of you. Looking behind you. Not too often. Because otherwise you won't see the progress.
I don't have to do everything alone. Not every path alone. How do I find people I could go with?
A few loose thoughts that help me find answers to the question of how I master my life.